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July 2008 Archive

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LOS ANGELES RESTAURANT NEWS - JULY 2008 Archive


OPENINGS

Sophie Gayot, Roy Yamaguchi, Victoria Recaño, Alain Gayot and Inger Ostrom at Roy’s in Pasadena Roy's in Pasadena kicked off with a grand opening party on August 7 with remarkable appearances by Hawaiian dancers. The event was also a benefit for the charity organization Hillsides-Creating Safe Places for Children. In attendance were representatives from Roy's such as President Mark Running and Vice President of Marketing Jayne Portnoy, as well as Alain and Sophie Gayot, Victoria Recaño from "The Insider," singer/musician Inger Ostrom and, of course, chef Roy Yamaguchi himself (see photo at right). Yamaguchi debuted his first eponymous eatery in Honolulu in 1988 and since then his restaurants have become well known for what he refers to as his "Hawaiian Fusion" cuisine---local ingredients, European sauces, Asian spices, and a focus on fresh seafood. Among the signature culinary creations are hibachi grilled Atlantic salmon; Szechwan spiced barbecue baby back pork ribs; and Roy's "original" blackened island ahi. Roy's, 621 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101, 626-356-4066.
 
Gjelina has opened on Abbot Kinney in Venice. The focus is on seasonal, rustic cooking and the restaurant features a fire pit on the outdoor patio. Chef Travis Lett heads up the kitchen, which turns out items like wood-fired pizzas, oysters and charcuterie. Gjelina, 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, 310-450-1429.
 
Chef Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and Per Se Thomas Keller, of The French Laundry and Per Se fame, opened Bouchon in a two-story space in the Garden Building in Beverly Hills. This casual bistro, with locations already in Las Vegas and Yountville, offers classic French dishes like steak frites, roasted chicken and quiches. The chef de cuisine is Rory Herrmann, who most recently headed the private dining room at Per Se. Bouchon, Garden Building, 235 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, 310-271-9910.
 
The Kress Now open in Hollywood is The Kress, a dining and nightlife destination in the former Frederick's of Hollywood building. Executive chef Troy Thompson, formerly of jer-ne restaurant + bar in Marina del Rey, presents pan-Asian dishes like sizzling wasabi shrimp, Tasmanian salmon and tandoori-spiced lamb rack. The Kress, 6608 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-785-5000.
 
Chicago native Brian McKeaney named his Culver City restaurant, bar and lounge Rush Street after the Second City's hottest party street. The space features a large sidewalk patio, a 35-foot molded concrete bar and black leather booths. Executive chef Dave Northrup, previously of Deep, Vine and Flints, will focus on "bar-centric" dishes like buffalo chicken dumplings with blue cheese; plus grilled New Zealand lamb racks and brick oven-cooked pizzas. Rush Street, 9546 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
 
Andy Soboil and Martha Chang opened O!burger in West Hollywood. Their organic eatery makes burgers using grass-fed beef, free-range turkey, or spinach and corn. Other options include baked french fries, a grass-fed beef O!dog, and the O!shake---Aseel dates, live-culture yogurt and low-fat milk. O!burger, 8593 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-854-0234.
 
Veronica L. Hunter and her family recently opened New Orleans Vieux Carré Creole Cuisine in Leimert Park, naming their restaurant for a square in the city's French Quarter. Seventh Ward native Dwayne Harleaux is preparing traditional Creole dishes like crawfish pie, jambalaya, crawfish etouffée, red beans and rice, crawfish corn chowder and grilled catfish. The wait staff has bought into the New Orleans theme, wearing Mardi Gras-style bow ties. New Orleans Vieux Carré Creole Cuisine, 4317 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90008, 323-291-2441.
 
Jimmy Shaw opened a larger branch of Loteria Grill in Hollywood on July 1. You'll find a full bar and table service at this outpost, neither of which is available at the Farmers Market original. The menu is similar to the first location. At breakfast, chilaquiles are pairable with green tomatillo sauce, red chile guajillo sauce or mole Poblano. Tacos, burritos, tostadas and sopes come with choice of "guisos"--- regional Mexican stews. Expect options like potatoes with roasted Poblano peppers, chicken in spicy pumpkin seed and peanut sauce, and Cochinita Pibil --- pork slow-roasted in a banana leaf with pickled red onion and habanero chiles. Adventurous diners can order Probaditas, all 12 tacos, each served on a mini handmade tortilla. The chile relleno duo features an ancho filled with black beans, goat cheese and chorizo; and a Poblano filled with plantains and queso fresco. Open Sun.-Wed. from 9 a.m.-12 a.m. and until 3a.m. Thurs.-Sat. Loteria Grill, 6627 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028, 323-465-2500.
 
Antonio Alessi has opened Crudo Bar & Ristorante in the former Norman's space in West Hollywood, near restaurant neighbors Ketchup and Caffè Primo. The menu features the Italian raw fish dish for which the restaurant is named. Open for lunch Mon.-Fri., with happy hour and dinner to be offered soon. Crudo Bar & Ristorante, 8570 W Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-289-1131.
 
Anisette Anisette, the much-anticipated brasserie from celebrated chef Alain Giraud, is now open. Located in Santa Monica's Clock Tower Building, the restaurant showcases antique mirrors, mosaic tile floors and a 36-foot-long zinc bar. Breakfast and lunch offer options like the Anisette omelet with mushrooms, red peppers, goat cheese feta and arugula, while dinner's plats du jour (daily specials) include côte de boeuf for two and duck à l'orange. Anisette, The Clock Tower, 225 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-395-3200.
 

NEWS BYTES

Up on the Roof
The Roof Garden at The Peninsula Beverly Hills has launched a three-course barbecue menu available on weekends throughout the summer and into the fall. Roof Garden chef de cuisine Brandon Weaver worked with executive chef James Overbaugh to create the menu, which starts with a medley of salads. Among the selections prepared to order on the outdoor grill are cobia filet marinated with yuzu and cilantro; Madagascar prawns in Aleppo, garlic and parsley; free-range chicken with lime, Greek yogurt and mint; rib-eye steak with Jamaican Jerk seasoning; and whole lobster. For dessert, guests choose a trio of ice cream cones, a banana split or chocolate-custard cake. The menu is served from 4 p.m.- 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and the price is $55 per person ($15 surcharge for the lobster). The Roof Garden, The Peninsula Beverly Hills, 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, 310-975-2855.
 
Happy Hour at Arnold Palmer’s
Arnold Palmer's Restaurant is celebrating summer by offering drink specials and an assortment of "Arnie's Appetizers" for $7 each during happy hour. Pomegranate martinis, Cuervo Gold margaritas, and Arnold Palmer Chardonnay and Cabernet by the glass are just a few of the drink specials. The happy hour menu features items like the "Double Bogie" (two Kobe beef cheeseburger sliders), shredded beef soft tacos, ahi sashimi and a chicken fajita quesadilla. Happy hour is available in Arnie's Pub and on the patio Mon.-Wed. evenings from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. In addition, Arnold Palmer's is offering half off select bottles of wine on Thursdays throughout the summer. Arnold Palmer's Restaurant, 78164 Ave. 52, La Quinta, CA 92253, 760-771-4653.
 
Goodies from the Grill
Santa Monica's Josie is celebrating summer with Thursday Night BBQ Nights through the end of September. The prix-fixe menu changes weekly but may include items like barbecued quail, baby back ribs with apricot barbecue sauce, and a "clambake" complete with shellfish, sausage, corn and potatoes. Josie, 2424 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405, 310-581-9888.
 
Lunch Special at Kula Sushi Bistro
Kula Sushi Bistro is offering a "Neighborhood Lunch Special--KULA Roll Plate." For $10, diners will receive two pieces each of California roll, spicy tuna roll and shrimp avocado roll, plus two rolls (four pieces each) of your choice of Caterpillar, Crunchy, Spicy Crunchy, Spicy Crunch Salmon, KULA, or Albacore roll. The special is available weekdays through July 31 in exchange for a business card. Kula Sushi Bistro, 10351 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025, 310-282-8870.
 
“Fat Tuesdays” and Thursdays at Gus’s
Gus's Barbecue is now offering happy hour from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with specials on draft beer and wine. "Fat Tuesdays" will also feature $3 well Bourbon drinks, while Thursdays spotlight martinis. The happy hour menu offers fried dill pickle chips, mini sandwiches (grilled andouille sausage, pulled pork, and Texas brisket) and servings of four ribs---all priced at $5 or less. Gus's Barbecue, 808 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena, CA 91030, 626-799-3251.
 
Il Grano Tempting Tomatoes
Salvatore Marino, chef-owner of Il Grano, is once again offering a menu utilizing over 40 varieties of homegrown tomatoes. Expect dishes like bluefin tuna tartare with roasted pine nuts and Red Pineapple carpaccio; Alaskan King crab with chervil, corn, and Green Zebra-Orange Cal; crisp-skinned Japanese bass with roasted eggplant and Juliet Grape-anchovy sauce. A PBT panini combines Pancetta, Burrata and Black Cherokee Tomato. Pizza Caprese combines mixed heirloom Cherries, basil and fresh mozzarella. A Bloody Mary combines Stolichnaya, Tolstoi tomato sorbetto and micro celery. There are even two tomato desserts: a Brown Cherry and organic Brown Turkey fig bar and Celebrity tomato and mascarpone gelato. The tomato menu is available every Wednesday through October. Il Grano, 11359 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025, 310-477-7886.
 
Summer Special at Roy’s
Roy Yamaguchi is offering a three-course summer prix fixe menu at Roy's locations in Los Angeles, Woodland Hills and Pasadena for $35 per person. Expect choices like Asian-spiced shumai meatballs served on a Japanese mushroom cassoulet; Mongolian-grilled top sirloin with soy-mustard butter sauce and "sweet summertime" strawberry shortcake. The deal is available at dinner only and ends in September 2008.
 
Lunch To-Go at BLD
BLD is offering summertime box lunches featuring options like cheese & charcuterie plates, classic salads, grilled salmon with basil pesto, and hemp seed crusted tofu with miso rice wine vinaigrette. Dessert choices include house made chocolate chip cookies and lemon bars. Orders must be placed at least six hours in advance and may be picked up between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily. BLD, 7450 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036, 323-930-9744.
 
A Sweet Sequel
Chef Kristy Choo of Jin Pâtisserie will open a second location of her pastry shop at the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City in the fall. The lobby-adjacent shop will feature shadow display boxes in the front window to showcase Choo's signature truffles and cakes, which will be available for purchase along with Theodor Tea, coffee, macaroons and gift items. Jin Pâtisserie, 2151 Ave. of the Stars, Century City, CA 90067, 310-284-6500.
 
Martini Madness at Murano
Murano Restaurant & Bar in West Hollywood is introducing a new "Martini Madness" happy hour. Tuesday through Friday from 6 p.m.-8 p.m., guests can enjoy a selection of specialty house martinis for $8, including the Murano Chandelier (vodka, limóncello and pomegranate juice) and the Murano Ruby (Absolut Ruby Red Vodka and peach schnapps with orange and cranberry juices). In addition, executive chef Joe Anguiano has created a new summer menu of California-inspired seasonal Italian cuisine. Murano Restaurant & Bar, 9010 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069, 310-246-9118.
 
Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant + Elevate Lounge Winding Down at Elevate Lounge
Executive chef Kenny Yamada of Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant + Elevate Lounge has launched a new lounge menu featuring items like calamari served with cilantro aioli, a chicken robata trio, Japanese fries flavored with seaweed flakes, and tempura shishito peppers stuffed with spicy tuna. During the nightly happy hour from 4:30-6:30 p.m., all bar food items are half off, and diners can sip regularly priced wines from the "WINE-ding Down" list for $5 a glass. Happy hour prices are valid only for diners seated in the bar area. Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant + Elevate Lounge, 811 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90017, 213-236-9600.
 

CHEF SHUFFLE

Theo Schoenegger has departed from Patina and will head off to the drier pastures of Las Vegas. He will be opening his own eponymous restaurant in Encore, the new resort from Wynn Las Vegas which is projected to open at the end of 2008. Patina, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 141 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012, 213-972-3331.
 
Chef Warren Schwartz has left Whist at the Viceroy Santa Monica. Whist, Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401, 310-451-8711.
 

CLOSINGS

Check back soon for more news.

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